Are there old trading cards in your attic? Do you want to sell your sports cards but don't know where to begin? You can make some extra cash by selling those cards right now. 💰
You might be surprised to learn how much your trading cards are worth depending on how old they are, the era they come from, who they feature, and their overall condition.
Today, websites like eBay, Craigslist, Facebook, and others make it easy to sell your trading cards.
Here’s everything you need to know to start turning your collection into cash.
What Trading Cards Do You Have?
You might be wondering how to determine if a trading card is valuable.
The best place to start when selling your trading cards is knowing exactly what you own. This might require some research. Important details such as the date of the cards, the fame and notoriety of the athlete, and the card's condition will help you determine the value of your playing card.
Here are some things to look at and tips for selling trading cards online:
Manufacturing & Copyright Dates
The most important information you’ll want to check on your cards is the manufacturing and copyright dates, usually located on the back of the card.
This information is almost always listed; if not, there are ways to find it. You can perform a Google search, including the name of the player, card number, and some of the details listed.
💡Tip: You can also use Google’s reverse image search to find more information using an image instead of text.
Age: How to Determine Era of Trading Cards
Vintage and pre-war collections can warrant a much higher value than modern cards in many cases, depending on the card's condition.
Vintage: Pre-1980 and Post-WWII (1945)
Pre-War: Before WWII (1941)
💡Tip: The older the card, the more valuable it is generally. But, there are many exceptions! Desirable and rare modern cards can also be very valuable.
Identify Notable Players
What are the most famous trading cards? Who are the most notable athletes of all time?
Neglecting to identify key players in your collection could lead to money being left on the table and selling your cards for much less than you should have. If you don’t know who you’re looking for, do some research and use references such as the following to recognize anyone note-worthy.
- Greatest MLB players of all time
- Greatest NBA players of all time
- Greatest NFL players of all time
- Greatest NHL players of all time
Once you’ve identified these key areas of criteria, you’re well on your way to determining the monetary value of your trading card or collection.
💡Tip: You can look up “comps” or comparables to see what your card is currently selling for in the market. Do this by performing a search for your card as if you were looking to buy one.
Evaluate the Condition of Your Cards
Condition is crucial for trading cards. Any flaws will inherently affect your card’s overall value. Do your best to analyze and call out any and all types of conditions present. This can include:
Clarity (out of focus)
Writing on the card
It’s important to note that while a card may be fresh out of a pack, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in mint condition. Manufacturing-related flaws do happen and will be a factor to include in the card's condition. This is particularly true for vintage and pre-war cards due to the use of less sophisticated processes and equipment that we use today.
💡Tip: Many card-selling websites have unique grading systems. You won’t just use your discretion to rank a card as “good” or “fair;” instead, there are specific criteria and flaws that will determine a ranking on an official grading system. Check where you’re selling to learn more.
Grading Your Trading Card: PSA & SGC
Grading is one of the most critical steps when selling sports cards, so you’ll want to get familiar with the grading system.
Why is this important? The Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), Sports Card Guarantee (SGC), and Beckett all help people value vintage sports cards and memorabilia by authenticating them and providing uniform standards for condition. Your card’s grade will undoubtedly be something potential buyers will look for.
According to PSA's 10-point grading system, each piece is assessed on a scale of 1-10. A card with a higher grade is more valuable.
It’s important first to determine the stats of your cards, key players, and other details mentioned above before you jump to grading your cards so you can avoid spending too much on fees, shipping, and insurance. Some cards will simply not be worth it…
PSA and SGC gradings will also assist you in your search when you look at comps. For instance, you’ll want to check recent eBay sales with related stats, conditions, and grading to see what similar cards have sold for.
💡Tip: Trading card sleeves are essential to protect the value and condition of your trading cards. These protective sleeves come in various sizes to accommodate different card dimensions and are designed to shield cards from wear, tear, and environmental factors. Using sleeves can be particularly crucial if you plan to transport or display your collection regularly, as it helps maintain the overall quality of your cards.
Where to Sell Your Sports Cards
Selling Trading Cards on eBay
eBay is the go-to selling platform for most, especially for sports cards and collectibles.
Finding buyers on eBay is a viable option if you’re comfortable listing your own cards. The auction-style and fixed price options give your listings flexibility. eBay also offers sellers great reach with its vastly large audience.
💡Tip: You can even send your qualifying trading cards to eBay for them to sell on your behalf.
Listing and selling yourself minimizes seller fees instead of shipping and paying a specialty platform to list the cards for you. However, for sports cards in particular, buyers could be wary of scams purchasing from individual sellers vs. reputable company. Having your cards professionally graded, and offering high-resolution photos and detailed listing descriptions will help instill confidence.
Trading Cards on Facebook Marketplace
Selling on Facebook Marketplace is a great way to reach local and distant buyers, allowing
sellers to list and sell items locally for free.
On Facebook Marketplace, items will only incur a selling fee if they are shipped. Even so, Facebook Marketplace offers the lowest selling fees at approximately 5% of the final sale price ( or $0.40 for sales of $8 or less). This makes Facebook Marketplace quite attractive since the fee is lower than most other platforms.
💡Tip: It’s not just about Facebook Marketplace, don’t forget Facebook Groups. There are many Facebook Groups and Pages exclusively for buying, selling, and trading sports cards.
Connect with Trading Card Sellers on Forums
Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) is helpful in more ways than one. Depending on the desirability of your card it can be worth using their platform to grade and sell using their online forum.
PSA is a trusted, reputable, and recognized space in the collector community. Sellers can upload photos for their sports memorabilia, vintage or modern, and then negotiate payment and shipping details directly with buyers.
Forums can be a great place to connect with other collectors, gather information, and ask questions. Blowout Forums is a great example, and although you are unable to sell directly on Blowout, threads exist for these sports and hobbies:
- Comic Books
- Fantasy Sports
Source Trading Cards Locally
Do a Google search for “Trading Card Shops Near Me.”
If you prefer a more hands-on approach to selling your trading cards or are looking for a quick and convenient option, consider checking out local trading card shops near you.
Many dedicated card shops specialize in buying and selling sports cards, offering a personal touch and the opportunity to engage with fellow collectors. To find these shops, you can use online directories and search engines, or even ask for recommendations in local collector communities.
💡Tip: This can also be a great place to source inexpensive cards for online resale!
Create your Own Trading Cards
If you're interested in creating your own custom trading cards, various trading card templates are available online that can help streamline the design process.
These templates often come with pre-defined layouts and spaces for essential information, such as player names, statistics, and images. Whether you're crafting cards for personal use or planning to sell custom cards
Other Types of Trading Cards
It’s not just about the common sports like baseball, football, and basketball. There are all sorts of lucrative trading cards.
UFC Trading Cards
MMA (Mixed martial arts) fans can delve into the exciting realm of UFC trading cards. Featuring prominent fighters, iconic moments, and rare inserts, UFC trading cards cater to the growing fanbase of the sport. Keep an eye out for limited-edition releases, autographed cards, and other unique items that often hold a significant resale value.
Nascar Trading Cards
Car racing enthusiasts can rev up their collections with NASCAR trading cards. These cards showcase the thrilling world of NASCAR, featuring top drivers, legendary races, and special editions. As with other sports cards, factors like rarity, condition, and notable drivers can influence the value of NASCAR trading cards. Some vintage Nascar cards can yield a pretty penny!
President Trading Cards
For collectors interested in a unique and historical angle, president trading cards can be a fascinating niche. These cards typically feature images and information about past U.S. presidents, offering a blend of educational value and collectibility. Exploring this specialized category can provide a fresh perspective on the world of trading cards and attract a diverse group of history enthusiasts and collectors.
Interested in selling other types of trading cards and gaming cards? You might be interested in the article How to sell Pokémon Cards, Pokémon Card Rarity, Rating, & Where to Sell Online
As trading cards and sports memorabilia increase in popularity within the resale market, more and more online marketplaces are getting involved with the niche, such as StockX and The RealReal, which are most popularly known for luxury clothing and streetwear.
Have any rare cards? Share with us! 👇🏽